A wedding and portrait photographer goes to visit the in-laws in Ireland. Yay!

September 29, 2023 Portrait Photography, Ireland

An August trip to Ireland with Mary and Eimear

My wife, Mary, grew up in a town called Portmarnock near Dublin, Ireland. She went to medical school at Trinity College in Dublin. She had a choice to go to medical school there or Oxford or Cambridge. So when I say she's certifiably smarter than me, you know what I'm talking about.

Her medical school had a reunion in August, so we all went over to visit the relatives and do the reunion. I missed the actual go-to-school and have dinner with a pile of doctors wearing tuxedos and just did the cocktail party the night before.

We also visited the relatives and went camping for a couple days up in Castle Ward, Northern Ireland. It's the castle that transformed into Winterfell in Game of Thrones. I didn't get a lot of photos of the castle in good light because I couldn't wake up early enough. Next time.

So what does a Bend wedding and portrait photographer do when visiting the family in Ireland? Bring a simple camera kit and do some photos here and there of course! I skipped bringing the super fun Fuji in favor of the Canon R5 with the super small and light RF 28mm f2.8 lens.

What an amazing combo. I'm going to sell the Fuji because this is perfect. At first I was thinking the 28mm would be too wide and I would want to be cropping all the pictures. But no, it was perfect. I did crop a couple photos to vertical, but didn't really crop anything. The experience of shooting past weddings with a fixed Nikon 28mm f1.4 lens carried over. The lens was lightweight and easy to carry and work with.

I didn't do as many photos in the past because of a slight lack of motivation, but when editing, the winners shone through. That's the way it always is for me. Looking at the pile of pictures I think, "Blah." Then when editing the pictures that look like the kinds of pictures I take popped out from the crowd.

The warm, calm air of one evening inspired my kid, Eimear (rhymes with femur) to get us to walk down to the Portmarnock beach a couple blocks down from Mary's mom's house. It was SPECTACULAR! Easily the best night of the year for that beach. People were playing in the 60 degree water. Clouds were filling the sky with color. Not a whiff of wind, a miracle in itself.

Where am I talking about? That picture of Mary at the top is from that evening. The town of Howth is the blurry hill behind her. Allegedly Bono lives in Howth. Airplanes flying into Dublin from the U.S. make their final approach between us and Howth. I usually do the two mile each way walk around the beach to Malahide to the Starbucks for the only coffee anyplace. This trip I brought some Peet's Coffee and my Aeropress AND when Eimear and I walked over they got our order all wrong. So we did the walk only once.

Luckily nobody reads blogs, so I can say when I first met Mary she made it sound like Portmarnock was like the neighborhood you see in Angela's Ashes. That's absolutely not true. It's a beach town. She grew up two blocks from the beach. The houses all have nice cars parked out front. Nowadays, and knowing Irish people, I've figured out they ALL claim to grow up in an Angelas Ashes kind of neighborhood.

So anyway, here's some snapshots from Ireland. It's a waste to be a photographer and only do pictures with an iPhone when traveling. People who know me, know I hate selfies with an iPhone. Sometimes on rare occasions if a person is someplace really cool like the edge of a canyon in Canyonlands N.P. at sunset a selfie works. But everything you do? Really? You totally need that picture of you and breakfast?

You know what? New idea for a future blog: useful selfies in fun places over the years.

Mary with nieces Holly and Fiadh (Fee-a in English) at the campground. This was shot at ISO 10,000 and looks good.

Willow the whippet at the campground. Once a person pets one of these kinds of dogs, a person can't stop.

Portaferry, Northern Ireland as seen from the ferry boat.

Emma at the pub in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. See that blue sky? It was raining five minutes before.

Eimear on some crazy steps going into the water at the harbor in Howth.

Oliver and his mom, Eimear. She's the auntie Eimear is named after.

Eimear at the Portmarnock beach during the spectacular sunset.

I was so glad we hit the Portmarnock beach to see this. It was amazing.

Mary just after the last two pictures were done. She was telling me how they used to go there during high school and make out. I was up for going back later to relive her high school fun, but no luck on that one.